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Found 2 results

  1. If anyone wants to argue that Impressionism is the most overplayed, hackneyed art movement in all of history, you'll get no argument from me. If anyone wants to argue that, with the possible exception of Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is the most overplayed, hackneyed Impressionist in history, you'll also get no argument from me. But to my view, no painter in history can produce more beautiful *eyes* than Renoir - his eyes are so captivating that I'm able to see through all the dilettantes (of which I'm often one), crowding around the Impressionist galleries. You can often tell an Impressionist painting is a Renoir from the eyes alone. La Rêverie, 1877 - Puschkin Museum, Moscow, Russia Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881 - The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC Two Sisters (On The Terrace), 1881 - The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL Some masterworks in life lend themselves to close scrutiny; a small minority can be appreciated at face value - this falls into that latter category. They are just beautiful - the pictorial version of Bel Canto Opera. Any serious student of art here just lowered their opinion of me several rungs, and I understand why, but I don't care: Tawdry entertainment or not, these are gorgeous paintings.
  2. I've been meaning to post about Jessie Mann Porcelains (also known as Boxes By Jessie) for over a year. Some dear friends had a child on Dec 1, 2013 , and I didn't have a clue what to get them. So I hunted and pecked, looked around at Etsy, and then Google, and I searched and searched, and then a few minutes later, I found the perfect keepsake: a hand-painted Limoges porcelain box, custom-made for their baby. I went over to Jessie's studio and met with her personally, and there was a whole variety of Limoges boxes to choose from - plain, ivory-colored boxes in their native, unpainted state. But she had catalogs of her work, so I could see where this was going to go - her finished products are *beautiful*. Look at these, and these, and these. She not only paints them, but applies the French enamels in multiple layers, firing the box in an oven after each layer. The entire process takes about a week, and it's well-worth your time (no, I'll say it's imperative) that you go over there, in person, to select your box. Jessie sat down with me for about thirty minutes, sketching out what I wanted right in front of me, so I had a pretty good idea of what the finished product would be like - but when I actually saw it, I couldn't believe how vibrant it was. These are gifts for people who have everything, and you don't know what to buy them. Obviously, they're not cheap (they start at $100 and go up - you can expect to spend $200-300 for even a modestly sized box). But man, are they worth it. And then when your box is ready, she doesn't just hand it to you and say bye; she includes photos, and presents it in a really nice gift bag. If you have a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or other special occasion (she even has one that says "First Tooth"), I can't imagine there's anyone who wouldn't appreciate receiving one of these as a gift. I cannot recommend Jessie Mann highly enough - she was a pleasure to work with, and the quality of her artistry is amazing. Don Rockwell
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